Author: Willie Pena

How to make electronic music in Ableton with Rodin Flash – Interview & video!

EDM has taken the world by storm, and what used to be an underground movement which started with techno and house music parties (raves) in the 1980s has exploded onto the mainstream scene. Artists such as David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Marshmello and others have incorporated the heavy beats and electronic sounds of the pioneers, such as Juan Atkins, Frankie Bones, Richie Hawtin, Todd Terry and others, into radio-friendly hits.

One thing which hasn’t changed from the origins of electronica is the do-it-yourself, home production vibe. Entire careers have been hatched from bedrooms and living rooms, and its getting even easier to produce thanks to cheaper gear and software.

Teens Wanna Know is featuring one of these emerging artists. His name is Dylan Huey and goes by the stage name Rodin Flash. If you want to learn how to make electronic music in ableton, produce your own beats or enter the world of international deejaying, you are going to love this feature, because in addition to a written Q&A, Rodin provides a video where he shows off his music production gear and deconstructs one of his tracks to show how it was made in Ableton Live. It’s dope!

First, a few facts:

  • He is 16 years old
  • Uses Ableton Live
  • Released his first EP, called the Royal EP, in June 2015.
  • Released two more EPs, on in December of 2015 and one in March 2017.
  • Has over 250K followers and 3.5M+ likes on Musical.ly and close to 70K followers on Live.Me
  • Over 20K followers on Instagram
  • Consistently on ReverbNation’s Top 10 EDM producer chart, and recognized on Shazam and Global DJ Rankings
  • Tours regularly

Now, let’s get on with the interview!

Okay, let’s start with your stage name Rodin Flash. At first I thought it was some kind of superhero name, but then I read that it actually comes from “Rotten Flesh!” Please elaborate lol.

Yeah, as I kid I was surrounded with video games and I loved playing them. When I was in elementary school, the hype was around Minecraft and in the game, there was an item you could collect called rotten flesh. It was edible, but you’d lose health from eating it. So you could say my stage name is based off bad food!

What do you consider your musical style to be?

Pop/EDM/hip-hop

What part has Musical.ly played in your music career? – or is it all just cringey looking back at your old ones lol?

Despite the fact that I have parted ways with my Musically past, I am still active and seeing what my friends are up to on the app. Musically has definitely helped me grow my fanbase and give my music publicity and a platform to be seen. It has also allowed me to find like-minded individuals and collaborate with them.

Do you DJ as well, or do you plan to stay strictly as a producer?

I’ve DJ’d in the past, but it wasn’t something I was truly passionate about so I decided to strip the DJ’ing aspect from my concert performances. Instead, when I perform I sing, interact with my supporters, and more!

Many artists are skipping record labels and doing it all themselves. Do you think record labels are obsolete, or is signing with a label still important?

Signing with a record label is still crucial to grow as an artist without an already defined fanbase. Labels give developing artists the push they need to develop their craft and help provide resources to grow for artists to grow as individuals.

Tell us what’s in your production gear setup.

Software: Ableton Live
Computer: Apple MacBook Air
Microphone: Rode NT1
Keyboard: Akai Pro MPK
Accessories: Novation Launchpad

Watch this video to see his equipment and how one of his songs was made. It will help with you how to make electronic music in Ableton:

Biggest pet peeve?

High pitch noises and people eating with their mouth open

Most embarrassing moment IRL?

I’ve had too many embarrassing moments. Most of the times were me just being clumsy lol.

Favorite food?

Pizza, Mac & Cheese, or Ice Cream

Favorite book?

Follow Me – Ricky Dillon

Favorite movie?

Expelled (the one with Cameron Dallas)

Favorite musical act…never mind I know it’s the Chainsmokers. Okay, how about favorite DJ?

The Chainsmokers are also DJ’s, but other than the Chainsmokers, Cheat Codes, Martin Garrix, and Marshmello are pretty dope as well.

What do you have coming up next?

A new pop/hip-hop album different from any of my previous albums. You’ll definitely be surprised! It’s gonna be lit.

Can we get a quick selfie of wherever you are at, to keep it real for the fans?

I’m in Toronto!

how to make electronic music in ableton

Follow Rodin Flash:

https://www.instagram.com/rodinflash/
https://www.facebook.com/rodinflash/
http://www.rodinflash.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYs6Hkk55YwzaaxlsfJE4jA

 

Dr. Luke/Kesha drama shows how the News can be used as a weapon

In the world, money and power can cause people to behave poorly. Its hard to accept when adults tell young people to behave and be decent, honest people when adults display terrible behavior all the time — even so called role models like pop stars, attorneys, and news outlets.

The Dr. Luke/ Ke$ha drama which has played out in the media is a great example. Now, I don’t have a clue about Dr. Luke’s treatment of artists and the truth of the matter. The point of this article is to show how when powerful people in show business and the media want to destroy someone, they can coordinate and do so by putting out “news” that tells the story they want you to believe. They play with your emotions so you feel sympathy, even though they themselves might be guilty of doing wrong themselves (like Asia Argento, one of the leaders of the #metoo movement who supposedly sexually abused a 17 year old boy herself. Kind of a hypocrite maybe?)

Image: Mingle Media TV – https://www.flickr.com/photos/minglemediatv/14651683346

 

Here is a statement from Dr. Luke’s legal team regarding the Kesha matter. Notice how, in the screenshots of the emails provided, there was no mention of getting justice for Ke$ha for supposedly being raped, but it was all about destroying Dr. Luke. I will leave it up to you to decide whether everything you heard about this case in the news, and all the crying and performances and all that was all just smoke and mirrors or whether it was true. But here is some evidence that maybe shows there was more behind the story than we were told. TEENS HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHO THEY BELIEVE–YOU ARE THE FUTURE!

The statement follows in full:

——————————

In 2014, Kesha filed a bogus Complaint against Dr. Luke – which she has voluntarily dismissed – falsely claiming that he drugged and raped her in 2005. Now, after four years of litigation, it is Dr. Luke’s defamation claim that remains. Evidence is now publicly available to show that Kesha’s Complaint was filed pursuant to a “Press Plan” and PR media blitz, designed to create the maximum negative public pressure on Dr. Luke in order to get him to give in to her contract demands.

Having done all of the damage publicizing her false claim of rape for years, Kesha now has asked Dr. Luke to not speak publicly about the evidence just being revealed… even though this is the first time Dr. Luke has the opportunity to do so with some of the actual facts. Ironic, indeed.

This is the true story Kesha did not want you to know.

By 2012, Kesha was a superstar with smash-hit records and huge success working with Dr. Luke. That year, Kesha wanted a new deal, and demanded more money and better contract terms.

When Dr. Luke did not agree to her contract terms, Kesha maliciously plotted to destroy Dr. Luke’s business and reputation to pressure him to give in. Kesha’s powerful managers, Jack Rovner and Ken Levitan, along with Irving Azoff, discussed in emails their “jihad” to “ruin” Dr. Luke “in the press” and “take down his business”. These documents obtained in litigation speak for themselves:

By 2014, Kesha was ramping up, changing entertainment lawyers and hiring litigator Mark Geragos to threaten Luke. They orchestrated a plan to create further pressure on Dr. Luke to change the terms of her deal. Kesha’s team created a self-titled “Press Plan” to give TMZ a Complaint accusing Dr. Luke of rape – which would thereafter be filed publicly. Kesha hoped that Luke – faced with these scandalous accusations – would promptly cave to her wishes. Kesha did not expect to have to prove her claim of rape – as she could not.

In the “Press Plan”, Kesha’s team embarked upon a self-described mission to “incit[e] a deluge of negative media attention and public pressure” to achieve the “maximum amount of negative publicity” against Dr. Luke. Kesha fought to conceal these documents in Luke’s defamation case, but she lost. These documents also speak for themselves.

What really happened on the night of October 5, 2005:

Kesha and Dr. Luke each attended a birthday party for Nicky Hilton at a nightclub in Hollywood, followed by an after-party at Paris Hilton’s home.

Kesha admits she voluntarily had at least four drinks while partying. Because she drank too much, she got sick, and threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet. Kesha was kicked out of the after-party because of her behavior. Dr. Luke was asked to help bring Kesha out of the party. As an act of kindness and to help Kesha, since Kesha had just vomited and was intoxicated, he escorted her out and offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, which was only a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr. Luke separately slept on the couch. Dr. Luke testified, under oath and in great detail, that he did not have any sexual or physical contact with Kesha.

Kesha herself now testifies that she has absolutely no memory of engaging in any sexual activity with Dr. Luke or even of Dr. Luke being in the hotel room that night. Kesha has no memory of Dr. Luke engaging in inappropriate contact because it did not happen.

In her bogus Complaint against Dr. Luke, Kesha falsely claimed that Dr. Luke gave her a so-called “sober pill” supposedly causing her to “black-out”. She also claimed she told her mother about allegedly being drugged right away, in 2005. Her mother, however, testified Kesha did not tell her about any supposed “sober pills” until 2013/2014. That was when Kesha had begun plotting the press plan and lawsuit and threatening Dr. Luke to go public with her false rape allegations. Dr. Luke testified that he did not give Kesha any kind of drug that night.

The next day, Dr. Luke woke up on the couch and left the hotel suite, while Kesha kept sleeping on the bed. After waking up, Kesha spent hours in the hotel suite and even ordered room service.

Other critical documents and testimony remain under seal at Kesha’s insistence. When released, they will further reveal the fiction that Kesha created.

Kesha used to tell the truth about what happened on this night.

In a 2010 interview, Kesha recounted how she threw up in Paris Hilton’s closet due to mixing champagne, whiskey, and sushi.

Shortly after the night in question, Kesha and her mother co-wrote a zany comedy song about that night titled “Paris Hilton’s Closet.” That the Seberts made light of that night speaks volumes about what actually happened.

In 2011, Kesha was sued by a former manager and both Kesha and her mother testified in that case. They were each asked under oath about Kesha’s relationship with Dr. Luke, and their testimony establishes that Dr. Luke never made any sexual advance to Kesha – let alone raped her.

The truth about Katy Perry that Kesha didn’t want you to know….

The false narrative Kesha created about being raped became widely accepted, damaging Dr. Luke’s reputation irreparably. Compounding this malicious act, in 2016, Kesha told Lady Gaga that Dr. Luke raped Katy Perry, which is outrageous and untrue. Katy Perry testified under oath in this case that Dr. Luke never raped her. Regardless, Kesha refused to apologize. Instead, she issued a press release which again irresponsibly suggested that Katy Perry was actually raped by Dr. Luke. It seems that Kesha wanted to perpetuate the falsehood that Dr. Luke raped Katy Perry.

There is nothing worse than abuse and sexual assault. Dr. Luke supports any woman or man who seeks to address sexual abuse in the legal system. That is not what happened here. It is also horrendous to falsely accuse someone of a heinous act. That is what has happened here. Kesha’s voluntarily dismissed rape claim has caused great harm to Dr. Luke, his family, and his businesses.


What do you think? Was there a deliberate campaign by powerful people to ruin Dr. Luke that had nothing to do with sexually assaulting anyone?

 

Rising teen star Kolten Kirschke releases “Let Me Know” – Exclusive Interview!

Kolten Kirschke is a talented 13-year old singer/songwriter and actor who has been performing and filming professionally for the majority of his life in New York and Los Angeles. Known for his covers on Youtube, his new single “Let Me Know” drops TODAY!

Its available NOW on all major music outlets. You can check it out on Spotify here=> KOLTEN KIRSCHKE “Let Me Know”

Kolten took some time from his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about releasing his very first single, what the creation process was like, and a few “getting to know you” facts. Scroll down to read our Q&A!

Hi Kolten, nice to e-meet you! You are releasing a brand new track today
and we are excited to find out about it…but first, tell us a little about yourself.

Really I’m just your ordinary teenager that loves playing soccer and gaming- especially
streaming live on Twitch! I’ve trained as a singer, actor, and dancer most of my life; and it’s
become a huge part of who I am and something I work on everyday.

Great! Now, let’s get into the big news. Your new track is called “Let Me
Know.” What’s it about?

“Let Me Know” is about having communication in a relationship. It’s always so hard to know
what the other person is thinking or feeling, so communicating is key.

How did the track come about, as far as songwriting, producing, etc.?

I’m blessed with the best team and support system. It started with pen and paper
and evolved into more than I could have expected. It was so great to work with Mary Simmons
(Marygold) and Zak Lloyd in Los Angeles. Mary co-wrote lyrics and topline, and Zak produced
an amazing track. I recorded the song with them in LA, and it was such a fun process.

I am sure there was a lot of work put into it. How does it feel to finally
release it to the world?

It’s really exciting to finally be at a point where I can start releasing original music. Cover songs
are great, but this time it’s my own feelings and story that people will hear.

Walk us through what planning and shooting the music video was like.

Again, it takes a great team to pull a vision together. Director Keith Green worked with me on
developing the storyboard. Once we had a storyboard, we auditioned actors and dancers we
needed for the video. Stylist, K. Makini, covered all wardrobe for us. Then a couple rehearsals
later, it was time to shoot. First Eye Media Group came in and worked their magic. I’m serious — to
watch them film with their cameras, drones, and lighting equipment and then see the video — it
feels like magic! Last comes all the editing. A lot of time and hard work go into these videos.

You’ve got a few Justin Bieber covers on your YouTube channel. How has
he influenced you as an artist?

When I first started music, Justin Bieber was the teen artist we all aspired to be. Most people
don’t see or understand the countless hours in the studio, choreography, rehearsals, and time
away from home that goes into all this. It takes serious work ethic to do all he’s done; I admire
and compare myself to it all at this stage in my life.

Being involved in the arts for some time now, including an appearance in “Future Man” with
Josh Hutcherson and directed by Seth Rogen, what’s been the most memorable moment so far
in your showbiz career?

Some of my most memorable moments haven’t released yet! Two projects will be out in
October. As an actor, the experience is amazing, but waiting to share is hard!

You advocate for a drug-free lifestyle, which we agree with 100 percent. With so many
popular artists displaying drug use in their videos and social media, what do you think is the
best way teens today can keep themselves on track and not fall into drug use?

Social media for so many teens is a way to learn about life. There needs to be more positive
influencers out there showing teens how to chase their dreams without drugs!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I’m afraid of heights.

Biggest pet peeve?

I don’t think I have one.

Favorite book?

The Eighth Day.

Favorite food?

Steak.

Favorite movie?

Wreck-It Ralph.

Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?

Wearing pants that were to large during a dance competition. Luckily they started falling down
towards the end of the performance. Haha!

What do you have coming up next?

Wish there was more I was allowed to share; I’m still shooting some scenes for a new feature
film coming soon and working on releasing my next song.

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment? Its
something we do for the fans!

Leaving LA and headed back to Texas for the new song release! My in the car selfie!

FOLLOW Kolten’s on his socials and check out his website!

https://www.instagram.com/koltenkirschke/
https://twitter.com/koltenkirschke
https://www.facebook.com/koltenkirschke/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMiEGhtt1McBt14cvo3rhsw
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7630700/
https://www.koltenkirschke.com/

Lenay releases debut song and video “La La Land” – Interview!

Fans of MTV’s 10 on Top no doubt remember its bubbly host Lenay, who shared the screen with co-hosts ranging from Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Victoria Justice, and Macklemore. That gig led her to a pretty massive social media following, with 8 million followers and counting. Now she is giving these fans something else to love about her: original music!

Lenay just released her debut track “La La Land.” Its an ode to her new city, having moved here recently after an international upbringing  which started with being born in the Congo, Africa, growing up in Minnesota, and living in Santiago, Chile.

In addition to releasing the song, she debuted the music video yesterday on PerezHilton.com, featuring her boyfriend, uber-popular Youtuber Germán Garmendia and a cameo by Perez Hilton himself.

We got the chance to ask Lenay a few questions, read her answers below–she is awesome! ❤

But first, check out the song, video, and her socials below

Song Link: http://bit.ly/Lenaylalaland
Video debut on Perez Hilton.com: https://bit.ly/2nTWXvM

https://www.instagram.com/lenaychantelle/
https://www.youtube.com/user/Lenayiskindofcool
https://www.lenaychantelle.com/

Hi Lenay, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Before we get into your new music, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! Well let’s see … my name is Lenay, I grew up in Minnesota, I just moved to LA this year, I like playing laser tag, and painting plates at those ‘paint your own plate’ shops, which I haven’t done in a while so I should probably do that soon. Then you get to bring it home and eat off your plate with your drawing on it – it’s pretty exciting.

Great. Many people are familiar with you as the host of MTV’s 10 on Top – what led you to start releasing your own music?

I grew up playing classical piano, but started writing songs on guitar before I was on MTV, and always worked on my songs on the side. I’ve had a lot of my songs produced but never really uploaded a lot of them until now!! I think everyone is their own worst critic and I always felt they weren’t ready, now I realize that’s a super common feeling and it’s more important to just upload them before I overthink it lol.

Tell us about your new song “La La Land” and the story behind it.

I just moved to LA this year! I’d been to LA before but somehow this time I saw it differently and wasn’t so blinded by the smoke and mirrors. I think there is beauty in the imperfections and started singing about it, and out popped “La La Land”!

After this track, are your working on a full-length album or EP? 

I thought when I got to LA that I would be releasing and album, but finding out that’s it’s more of a ‘singles’ market, where artists now can release one song at a time and hype people up around one song instead of 10 and it’s so much fun!!

I’m having a blast planning all of my social media headers/photoshoots/videos to all things themed “La La Land”. I’m really getting into what the song is about and giving it the individual attention it deserves. I can’t wait to do that for every song!! I would be very excited to release an album too, but I think a few songs would more likely get lost on it if that happens.

What would you like people to know about your upcoming music?

While I’m in the studio in Nashville or LA working on ‘finding my sound’ and what I like, I’m finding more and more of my new songs (coming soon!!) are mixing reggaeton beats, dark pop, and Post Malone inspired sounds, and it’s sounding SO cool!! Lol, I have no idea how to explain it other than that. Can’t wait for you guys to hear them!

What was the most memorable moment of your 10 on Top stint?

I think living in NYC while I hosted 10 on Top and walking to MTV right in the heart of Times Square was an experience in itself, and then having my own office and being able to pitch my own show ideas to executives (and getting one picked up woohoo!) was also fun.

Everyone I co-hosted with was so nice and it’s fun running into a few of them here and there in LA and they’re like, “weren’t you blonde”? I change my hair color a lot haha. It looks like I share my Instagram with 10 of my twins but it’s just me and my hair color changing habits. Although I wish I had 10 twins. I went on a site to try to find strangers who look like me in the world the other day and no luck so far.

You’ve got quite an international background. What’s been the most rewarding part about having lived in so many different places?

I think hearing different stories and different views on life itself. As well as learning that there are infinite realities that you yourself can live in or tap into even just in your own life. Just knowing that is freeing sometimes. Ok, that went deep and very horribly explained lol.

On an easier note, I love meeting people and then running into them in random places! Like I was in Nashville last week and my friend Sara, who I’ve known since I was 10 in Minnesota and I did my first photoshoot with, was like, “I live here now, let’s hang”. And we did hang, as well as did another photoshoot 🙂

Do you take Spanish classes presently to try to improve your Spanish? Or is it all from the time you lived in Chile?

After I went to Cancun on vacation with my parents when I was little, and got my hair all braided on the beach (lol). I fell in love with the culture and the language. My parents saw that and found an after-school Spanish club for me to join and start learning Spanish. I won a prize the first day and was hooked for life. Haha. But yes, when I was little I wanted to be a Spanish teacher when I grew up, so that’s how I started learning. 🙂

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I got rabies shots once. I’ve never told that anywhere before haha. I was in Costa Rica and was feeding these wild little cute animals that look like raccoons but cuter. I think they are called Codis or something.

One was trying to bite a chip but accidentally bit my finger, so I had to get rabies shots just in case. There’s a picture of the moment it happened of me feeding them if you scroll down on my Instagram a long ways. (I upload a lot haha). You’ll see the one I mean. Was totally worth the insta-pic.

Biggest pet peeve?

Wet socks

Favorite book?

The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm.” Only book I’ve ever read twice when I was little. Now I like articles in magazines like Psychology Today or Harvard Business Review.

Favorite food?

Coffee

Favorite movie?

Every new movie I see that I love is my ‘new favorite movie’. I think “Ready Player One” was the last one.

Most embarrassing moment you wish you could do over?

One time I met Rebecca Minkoff and I was nervous and I was like, “oh hi! Where are you from do you know where?” and then everybody laughed and she was very polite and nice but like yes I know where I’m from lol. [haha! – Editor]

Craziest fan experience?

One time a fan gifted me at a concert photos of my boyfriend and I printed out, with herself photoshopped in every photo with us. It was adorable and hilarious – I still have them somewhere.

What else do you have coming up next?

New songs!!! And just released my own app!!! Just look up my name, ‘Lenay’, on the App Store and hang out with me on it!

Could we get a selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment to keep it real for the fans?

Lol ok but you asked for it !! (also note from future self: I just took it and almost accidentally airdropped it to the random guy next to me instead of my laptop. which is kind of hilarious and I should anyways)

Sebastian Moy talks his new Flighthouse series “The Sebastian Moy Show”

Flighthouse, the popular musical.ly brand, has launched a Youtube channel with original series, one of which is The Sebastian Moy Show. The show features Seb interviewing celebrity friends when they sneak into his “bedroom.” 

We got the chance to ask Sebastian a few questions about the show, his pet peeves, what he finds attractive in another person, and more! Check it out below.

What’s up Sebastian, nice to e-meet you. Before we get into your show on the Flighthouse YouTube channel, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Sebastian I am currently 15 years old. I enjoy making videos online for my fans the Moy Army.

Awesome! Now, tell us about The Sebastian Moy show and why teens should tune in?

The Sebastian Moy Show is a fun, exciting show where I interview celebrities in my bedroom, they come through my window and my Mom has no idea. Teens should tune in because it’s full of energy, different guests each episode and overall an entertaining show.

Who have you interviewed so far (a.k.a upcoming episodes)?

Baby Ariel, Kristen Hancher, Piper Rockelle, Indiana Massara, Jesse Underhill, Daniel Skye, Oliver Moy

What’s been the weirdest answer a guest has given you, or oddest thing they have done?

Kristen Hancher told me she has had 14 boyfriends in the past.

Best part about filming it so far?

We threw a Pizza Party in my bedroom.

What can we expect in future episodes…are there skits and music and stuff or is it mostly interviews?

Funnier skits, funnier segments and more craziness.

How did you get hooked up with Flighthouse…like how did the show come about and stuff?

They contacted me because I was a fan on Musical.ly and from there we grew a strong relationship. I love their team! Shout out Flighthouse!

Where is the last name Moy from, out of curiosity?

It’s Chinese, my grandparents are from Hong Kong and Moy means Plum.

Biggest pet peeve?

Going to sleep too late.

Your most embarrassing moment IRL?

When I peed my pants on the set of Dolphin Tale the Movie.

Favorite book?

The False Prince Series.

Favorite movie?

The Amazing Spiderman with Andrew Garfield.

Favorite musical act?

Drake.

What do you find most attractive in another person?

How funny they are.

Your best and worst school subjects?

Best for me is math and the worst is history.

Any awkward celebrity or fan moments ever (including Moy Army peeps?)

None because it’s always a blast meeting fans.

Apart from yourself (haha), favorite YouTuber?

Ricegum.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

People would be surprised to know that I used to play in Chess tournaments.

Could we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing at the moment, to keep it real for the fans?  

https://www.instagram.com/sebastianmoy/

https://twitter.com/itssebastianmoy?lang=en

Fittest Teen on Earth: 14-year-old Olivia Sulek Becomes the Youngest CrossFit Games Winner in History

14-year-old Olivia Sulek just became the youngest Reebok CrossFit Games winner in history, here is what she had to say about her accomplishment:

“To call myself the fittest teen on earth still hasn’t sunk in. This past week has definitely had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade the result for anything else. If anyone asked me one year ago if I thought I could even qualify for the Games I would’ve thought they were crazy. To win the Games, I never would’ve imagined in a million years.”

From the press release:

Today, Renaissance Periodization (https://renaissanceperiodization.com) – diets and training backed by science – is thrilled to announce that three of their athletes were named “Fittest on Earth” at this year’s 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games with others topping the podium and leaderboards.

Making headlines as the youngest CrossFit Games winner in history was Renaissance Periodization athlete, 14-year-old Olivia Sulek, of Ohio who won the Girl’s 14-15 year-old category after taking a commanding 86 point lead in the final afternoon of the Games.

“Olivia is a very committed athlete so when we realized that her diet could be better preparing for the Games, she was all over it,” added Nicolas Simpson, Sulek’s coach and Owner of ESF CrossFit. “I had previous success with Renaissance Periodization helping me prepare for regionals so working with them was a no-brainer.”

In the team competition, “Fittest Man in History” Rich Froning along with Lindy Barber on Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom won the Games for the third time in four years. Prior to this, Froning was named “Fittest Man on Earth” four times. Also topping the leaderboard at this year’s Games, was Renaissance Periodization athlete Annie Thorisdottir who placed fifth this year after becoming the first female to win the CrossFit Games twice in addition Renaissance Periodization athletes and Fittest American Female Kari Pierce who placed sixth.

“We’re incredibly excited to see three Renaissance Periodization athletes top the podium at the 2018 CrossFit Games,” commented Renaissance Periodization Founder, Nick Shaw. “Their relentless work ethic and determination have paid off in a big way and we’re happy to have played a role in helping these incredible athletes reach the pinnacle in their respective sport.”

Renaissance Periodization was founded in 2012 with the understanding that science is the surest path to the truth, and in this field, to results. Their approach is the rigorous application of scientific principles to nutrition and training and was built on a foundation of peer-reviewed literature and experimentally confirmed theory. Renaissance Periodization boasts the most qualified staff in the industry of 20+ experts including a practicing medical doctor, 17 PhDs and five Registered Dietitians along with U.S. Olympic Sports Nutrition Consultant, Dr. Mike Israetel. Since 2012, Renaissance Periodization has helped hundreds of thousands of clients worldwide, ranging from world champion athletes to everyday men and women looking to get in better shape.

To date, Renaissance Periodization and their team of professionals are the official dietitians for Team USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting. For more information on Renaissance Periodization, visit www.renaissanceperiodization.com.

Gamer World News founder Gayle Dickie talks eSports in interview with TWK!

The eSports gaming industry is growing at a massive pace. What many don’t know is that about half of eSports players are female. We’ve covered this before, with our interview with Hearthstone player Rumay Hafu Wang, and we continue our coverage with an interview with TV exec and entrepreneur Gayle Dickie.

Gayle just launched last month an online channel called Gamer World News that’s completely devoted to video game news and in-depth stories and features two female hosts who co-host a segment called “Girls of the Game.”

Lets find out more about this growing industry!

Hi Gayle, before we get into the topic at hand, tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.

I’m a California girl, started as a paralegal in the music business.  I set a world record for bent knee sit ups in 1980 (13,104 in 12 hours on ABC-TV) and my life changed dramatically.  I became what’s known today as an ambassador for Nautilus Sports Medical Industries and trained the Olympic Australian swim team in mind control in 1981.

I came back to the US and worked for heads of studios (Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox Film Studios) and then became a TV syndicator selling domestic television series and movies and first-run shows in the top 100 markets in the US.  I’ve sold millions of dollars’ worth of television shows and produced films from $1 million to $10 million.  One of the more memorable was finding “DragonBall Z” and syndicating (‘selling’) that in the US.  I had an eye for good story and quality of story driven entertainment.

Five years ago I saw the push on the digital content side for all the various platforms that we are most familiar with today.  And I loved the idea of gamers having their own news, information and entertainment.  I see it as the future for sure.

How has eSports grown over the past five years?

Great question.  It’s important to keep in mind that eSports is the professional competitive side of video game competitions.   It’s really 1% of the total games market but it’s the fastest growing business in recent history.

Five years ago, the top games were Counter Strike, Halo 3, Starcraft2 and WarCraft3. Now we have moved to more team-oriented games like League of Legends, Dota2, and Overwatch, although people like to debate the Overwatch FPS (first person shooter vs. multiplayer online battle arena) and now especially, we’ve all undoubtedly witnessed the  phenomenon of Fortnite.  The most recent announcement was $1 Billion dollars in in-game purchases which is astounding.

eSports is now in over 1100 colleges and universities in North America with multiple teams and leagues.  High schools are catching up which is very exciting for all the gamers who have grown up with a console or pc game as early as 3 or 4.   That means some high school seniors have already been gaming for 14-15 years!

Five years ago the eSports revenues were some $194 million at the end of 2014.  That’s when they really just started measuring eSports. Now It’s a bona fide business with estimated $906 million this year and an overall $180.1 billion for the global market with major sponsors, advertisers, game publishers, media rights going to ESPN and tickets and merchandise both online and in stadium competitions.

We are working on a new project to allow high school gamers the ability to get ranked and to turn pro but more about that in the coming months on www.gamerworldnews.com.

What impact have females gamers had on eSports thus far?

Female gamers are almost half of the global game population.  They’re being recognized more and more in the global market. They are taking a stand that they can play all the genres of games in play today. They are getting recruited professionally.  I found one of the first girl gamers to get an eSports scholarship to play Overwatch!

I believe girl gamers have gone through significant changes with so much banter about bias and bullying around the world, so this year in particular, we are seeing more recognition given to girls who play professionally and competitively than in any prior year.  There are great girl gamers on Twitch playing a variety of games from League of Legends to Witcher3 and StreetfighterV.   We strive to find girl gamers and do profiles on them and push their brands to continue to fight any stigma that might arise with our “Girls of the Game” channel.

Encouraging more girls to get involved in pro eSports needs to start young where we can further guarantee and inspire the spirit of competition and community.

What do you predict their impact will be in the near future?

I think in the next few years, we will see more eSports scholarships for girls and see more and more girls go pro and be involved behind the scenes as game developers, marketers, social media managers, analysts, promoters and hosts.  There will be a further development of the entire economics for eSports and it will definitely bring more female players and global competition.

What would you say the major differences are between male and female gamers?

Probably the major difference is the platforms on which they play games.   Both like mobile almost equally with a slight edge for females and yet more males play on PC and console.  However, I think it is rapidly changing and equaling out.  FPS are slightly more popular for males and I think the RTS and story driven are really of interest to female gamers.

How is sports gambling changing eSports?

It’s going to change it immensely.  Esports will undoubtedly have real time betting at exhibitions and online (it has already begun) and I think it will bring millions more into the sport.   The biggest challenge betting on eSports has is the regulations and security that needs to be put in place just as with traditional sports.

One important difference from traditional sports leagues vs. eSports leagues is the owners are in the power position when it comes to eSports and the traditional sports leagues/teams are controlled by the owner of the franchises. So eSports owners have all the control.  And eSports betting on TV and various platforms available will bring even more money to the sport.

Tell me about Gamer World News.

Gamer World News is the future ESPN  and CNN global news, information and entertainment platform for eSports, competitive and casual gamers offering the latest technology in video storytelling and news.  We do news in quick ‘potato-chip’ style segments and offer 13 channels of content.  We launched late April 2018 to a flurry of media attention.

We are available at www.gamerworldnews.com, (www.gwne.com), Roku, AppleTV, AndroidTV and AmazonFire, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitch.  We’re coming soon to mobile and android.  We are in discussions to partner with many recognizable entertainment savvy companies.  We have had over 25 news stories and radio interviews in less than 90 days and will soon be featured in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Fortune Magazine, and have a strategic relationship with ‘Eyez.gg’ where we can syndicate our content to potentially 1 billion eyeballs over the course of the next few years.

And we are getting ready to reach out to middle school and high school players in the US and Canada for an exciting new project so stay tuned.

What do you feel is the most exciting recent development in eSports?

Probably the significant audience growth and monies related to Fortnite.  It’s a global phenomenon and I personally know kids from the age of 7 to 70 who have enjoyed playing the game –or let’s say ‘attempting to stay alive’ in the game!  And I have to say the attention that the video game world in general is getting from around the world is a welcome indicator of things to come.

What’s the biggest misconception about eSports or gamers in general?

I still think people have a hard time believing the 42% of the global games market are spectators who love to watch eSports.  It’s no different than 40 years ago when ESPN started showing traditional sports.  It’s fun and even exciting to watch. And we are slowly moving away from the idea it’s that nerdy kid in a basement shut off from the world.

Anything else we should know?

We’re always looking for contributors and storytellers at Gamer World News so send your 1-minute story to contributors@gamerworldnews.com or feedback@gamerworldnews.com

Subscribe to Gamer World News on YouTube, FaceBook and Twitch as we’ve only just begun…and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @GWNeNOW! …Thank you!!

Are you addicted to porn and/or social media? New book teaches how to break free.

One of the problems with our always-connected lives is that many of us are becoming addicted to stuff on the  internet. Porn is easier to access than ever before, and even small kids can come across content which was once unavailable to anyone under 18 years of age. Even for those who stay away from porn, social media presents a different, but just as addictive trap which people cannot stay away from (hello Snapchat streaks).

Author A.N. Turner shares his story of digital dependence and how he broke free in his new book, Breaking the Feedback Loop: How I Liberated Myself from Internet Addiction and How You Can Too. The “digital diet” Turner talks about can be put into practice by anyone who is suffering from their social media or porn habits. The goal is to create healthier habits and help people reconnect with family, friends, school and other parts of “real life.”

We got the chance to interview the author about his experiences with porn and internet addiction. Read on for some fascinating insights into how companies get us addicted on purpose, plus a real person’s struggle and recovery.

Before we get into your book, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I went to the University of Pennsylvania and played varsity squash. I interned at a partner of Facebook working on advertising technology, then did similar work at Overstock, and soon will be starting again at an advertising technology company in New York. I researched and wrote the book during my junior and senior year at University, and I also worked on it while working in tech. I took a semester off my senior year to focus full time on it. I wrote it while I was correcting my own behavior and relationships with my devices.

Thanks. You worked on software used by some of the largest companies in the world in order to convince people to buy stuff. Could you explain in layman’s terms how this technology works, and what are the potential pitfalls for the end user?

Facebook offers software called Power Editor that any individual or business can use to run ads on Facebook (look it up!). However, some of the largest companies have needs that warrant their own software. For example, because they run many ads across Facebook and it’s other platforms, they look for tools that streamline the creation of ads. That said, Facebook’s out of the box software has been catching up with features offered by its partners and is increasingly better and better able to be used by large companies.

The software allows companies to quickly create, manage, and measure advertising campaigns on Facebook and it’s platforms. In no other advertising system is there the reach, the precise reach, that Facebook has. It lets you precisely target a large number of people who have characteristics relevant to your product or service. Those characteristics are determined through the data that you share as you use the service as well as the data that, at least in the past, has been acquired from third party data brokers. These data brokers are people that sell data on you, to Facebook, that you didn’t give to Facebook when using it, but that helps advertisers target people more effectively. The idea is to optimize the exchange of information between businesses and individuals.

This has tremendous economic value. But it has a cost in that, rather than with a monthly subscription model, with an advertising business model there is every incentive to hook users. This lets more ads be sold, and lets more data to be collected to make the ads more valuable.

What is your book Breaking The Feedback Loop about and why did you write it?

My book helps people understand the costs of things like social media, how those costs are connected to the business model, and how they can change their relationships with technology to improve their lives. There are a lot of economic resources dedicated to hooking people, and so it’s difficult to free yourself and warrants understanding in order to break free. This is told through the first person: through my journey realizing I was hooked, realizing that social media and digital entertainment has every reason to hook you, and realizing that my life would be better if I withdrew from that.

I made changes to my life that I share. The results were amazing, and I highly suggest people wake up and do the same. However, it’s not just about withdrawing from digital abuse. It’s important to improve the quality of your real life. For me that involved spending more time with other people, spending more time on work I enjoyed, and spending more time in nature, among else.

While in the short term you get a burst of pleasure from this digital entertainment, there are underlying costs like subconscious peer comparison and paranoia of surveillance and meaningless and fleeting external validation that NEED to be considered and factored into the time spent. Most people don’t factor in the costs, because they are not aware. I have tried to make people more aware of the costs. There are 100 citations in the book alongside the personal story.

What is the biggest takeaway you would like teenagers to have from the book?

What’s scarce is attention span and confidence. This is the currency of the future. Digital entertainment wears these down. It’s worth spending energy resisting these temptations in order to have the greater benefit of being free from them. It’s important to be able to focus on singular things for sustained periods of time.

And instead of turning to social media and porn and video games when lonely, relationships need to be nurtured. This is what’s going to be best in the long run.

Unfortunately sexual disability is not uncommon among young adults due to the “environmental” influence of porn. The research suggests it wears down dopamine receptor sensitivity, which screws up your ability to have meaningful sexual relationships. This is why drugs like Cialis have become very popular among young adults. The stats make it even more clear. The emergence of free porn tubing sites were easily abused by young adults and have changed the numbers of erectile dysfunction cases drastically.

The greatest competitive advantage you can have is to understand and control these things. Be confident that the energy spent is worth it, because it is. It is really hard as a teenager to do that. Almost impossible. Which is why I think schools and parents need to be involved in regulation. You will be the stars. Find other more productive outlets like real relationships, self reflection, and interests.

Teens are literally addicted to their devices. They go everywhere and check them constantly. What are some of the effects of this addiction?

The effect is reduced life satisfaction, reduced mental health, and reduced physical health. This was suggested recently in a paper related to social media use. However this likely extends to other use cases as well. That said, social media is particularly bad. It gets people hooked on the fleeting high from an artificial external validation of likes and hearts. And there’s the subconscious peer comparison underlying the dopamine hit from seeing information from your friends on the news feed. It’s so concentrated, it gives you a rush. But the concentrated peer comparison is harmful. You now want more external validation, or you want to buy some clothes from ads you see on the side.

Attention spans have reduced, and many young adults turn to drugs to combat that. Many academics believe this is a product of environmental change. Meaning, now our environment — what we interact with — is digital. It’s constantly updating, constantly distracting us, in a powerful, and completely unpredictable way, like the slot machines.

Again, your attention span is everything. It’s what’s going to let you do great things, and have great conversations. This is what’s important for the rest of your life. Don’t sacrifice it with this stuff. The medication is a temporary fix, and will leave you irritable and anxious and also addicted. What are the consequences going to be for these young adults using it so often? Time will tell.

How do companies manipulate us to get us addicted to social media?

Social media companies want you to be hooked. They make more money that way, and the shareholders want them to make more money, so they literally have somewhat of a fiduciary responsibility to do so. They do this through the cycle I reveal in the book, which has never been identified before.

The cycle is streamlined peer comparison on the news feed, which leads to insecurity, which leads to the desire to upload content for validation, or the desire to purchase products in the ads. The validation from the likes and hearts is meaningless and fleeting, and often leaves you more empty than before. So now you’re seeking that next hit, or trying to escape reality through the dopamine from the news feed, which only leads to more peer comparison.

You are not connected. You are alone. What you need to do is see people in the real world and as minimalist a life as possible on social media. Sorry, I said it.

What do you think the danger is from watching porn online?

The danger is really large. You can get a massive dopamine spike from the novelty you can browse through. You can watch multiple videos in one sitting. You can fast forward and rewind. You can toggle between videos in different tabs at once. This is not natural. But this is easy to do, and hard to avoid. So then your receptivity to sexual stimulation reduces and you become more apathetic.

Your consumption of novelty may escalate to support the constant dopamine highs you are expecting. All of a sudden now you are watching content you may have previously found disgusting and this is really tough for people. The difficulty is it’s easy to escalate, difficult to resist, and thus needs to be completely resisted.

I think it also messes up your relationship with your computer, a source of productivity. Don’t excessively deplete your energy. Save it for what’s important and keep the ability to have real relationships. You may not be able to have an erection or ejaculate as a young adult if you continue to use it.

If you had the power to regulate the Internet to prevent some of the bad effects you talk about, what would you suggest?

I think education is important. To be prepared for life as a young person you need to understand these issues. Integration in curriculum would be helpful. At a certain point, people will always have opiates and similar versions of opiates, and the important thing is to be able to moderate them if you think it’s worth it for your life to do so. My belief having reviewed the research is that it is for the vast majority of people.

How did you break free personally?

I broke free by gradually reducing the digital stimulation in my life while making my real life more meaningful. So, gradually reducing use of social media and porn, among else, while also having more relationships, going out more, and spending more time on interests. It has been invaluable.

Now I use social media moderately, in complete control. And I haven’t watched porn in over two years. One of the things that helped most with social media, and sorry I haven’t mentioned this yet, is stopping checking notifications. No more notifications. They are random, unpredictable reward, which leads to obsession. You reduce anxiety over who interacted with your profile. The benefit isn’t worth getting hooked.

Make your profile more private by changing your settings so you have less obsession about this. Have less photos and friends. Only real friends.

Where can people find out more or get help for their own social media or porn habits?

Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson is a great resource. He reviewed my book after publishing and he is quoted multiple times.

There is not much else on social media. Reading Hooked by Nir Eyal can help you understand why you feel addicted, which can help you escape. Mary Anne Layden at UPenn has done great research on this topic. The forum NoFap on Reddit has 300K+ subscribers posting about the topic of porn specifically. Your parents may not understand these issues, and your friends may not talk about them, but you are not alone.

What do you have coming up next?

I’m promoting this work so that people who need it will see it. I soon start working again and will no doubt get new perspectives. I pursue my interests and focus on being social to offset these addictions.

Could we please get a selfie so our readers can get a better feel for the real you? : )

Kelsey Leon from ‘Chicken Girls’ Interview with Teens Wanna Know!

Chances are you have heard of the ‘Chicken Girls’ web series on Brat Network. Its full of young social media influencers and deals with the usual dramas of high school life. So of course its got a massive following among teens!

One of its stars Kelsey Leon, a 15-year-old actress, dancer and model that is known for her role as ‘Kimmie & Power Surge Dancer’ in the show, as well as appearances in Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn” and Amazon’s “Just Add Magic.”

With Season 3 of Chicken Girls under development, we got the chance to get to know Kelsey a little better, Check out the Q&A below!

Photographer: Mario Barberio, Makeup: Robert Bryan, Hair: J Michael, Stylist: Cat Wright
Top: Lottie Moss x PacSun (@pslottiemoss), Jeans: Levi’s (@levis)

Hello Kelsey, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions! You play Kimmie, one of the Power Surge Dancers in Chicken Girls. Why do you think the show has become so successful?

Hi! Of course. In my opinion, the reason “Chicken Girls” has become so successful is because majority of the cast are social media influencers that have a huge fan base, which makes viewers want to watch. Also, the show is about high school drama and normal high school relationships. That being said, it’s relatable to kids our age and younger.

What can you tell us about ‘Kimmie’. How are you similar to her? How are you different?

‘Kimmie’ is one of the PowerSurge Dancers. The PowerSurge Dancers are rivaling against the opposing team, Attaway. I’m similar to her because I’m a dancer. I’m different from her because I’m not that mean in real life, haha. 🙂

Who do you hang out with most from the cast?

Awh, this is a hard one. We’re all usually in the same place- either in the hair and makeup trailer or doing school work together. All of my cast mates are super sweet, so I couldn’t pick just one. Outside of set, we usually all hang out together.

What can you tell us about the upcoming third season?

This upcoming season is definitely going to have a lot of plot twists and things you’ve never seen before in season one or season two. Get ready and stay tuned.

Top: Lottie Moss x PacSun: @pslottiemoss, Jeans: Levi’s @levis, Sunglasses: Zac Zac Posen @baxterandbonny, Cuff: Soon @soon.space

You appeared in Nicky Jam’s music video “El Amante.” Tell us what he was like in person and what that whole experience was like.

Yes! Nicky Jam was super fun to work with and so personable. The whole experience was so surreal. It was my first working job as a dancer, so being on set with such a powerful artist in the music industry was absolutely incredible.

What’s Feeding America about and how do you contribute to that organization?

There are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. The team from Feeding America work to get nourishing food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to people in need. Every day, more than 46 million children and adults can’t afford food due to underemployment and rising costs of living.

I contribute to the organization as I help sort, clean, and bag produce. The produce then goes into the paper bags we design and gets delivered to the people who need it most. Every time I go, we always get the opportunity to do a different activity (whether it’s a different produce or an entirely different project). I love anything charity related, so being able to work at this organization in my community is amazing.

Most awkward experience you’ve had IRL?

When you see your crush waving at you, so you wave back…and you realize he was waving to his friends behind you.

Biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when people slurp their drinks.

Favorite musical artist?

My favorite musical artist is Dua Lipa. All of her songs are so unique; I love dancing and singing to them.

Dream role?

My dream role is to book a lead acting role in a movie or a series regular role on a TV Show.

Favorite donut flavor?

My go-to donut is definitely a Glazed Donut from Krispy Kreme. They are the best!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

People might be surprised to know that I’ve been singing recently. Stay tuned. 🙂

What are you working on next?

We are shooting season three of “Chicken Girls” this summer. 

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment?

Links:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9123085/
https://www.kelseyleon.com/
https://www.instagram.com/kelseyleonofficial
https://twitter.com/kleonofficial
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqlRxbkm-DDniYY8QSQpwJw

Watch some Chicken Girls below!

Interview with Bella Shepard “Alice” on Brat Network’s “A Girl Named Jo”

Brat Network’s newest series “A Girl Named Jo” launched this week, and we got the chance to do a Q&A with one of its stars, Bella Shepard. She plays Alice — who isn’t exactly BFF material. The series is a teen mystery set in 1963, starring Annie LeBlanc and Addison Riecke as two characters who become unlikely friends from opposite sides of the tracks and uncover the community’s complex history.

Let’s meet Bella!

Hello Bella, nice to e-meet you! Before we get into your role on Brat Network’s “A Girl Named Jo,” tell us a little about yourself.

Well, I’m originally from Michigan and moved to LA 3 years ago. I am very sporty, I was a former gymnast, before I started acting. I wakeboard, ski, figure skate, and surf. I also am a huge animal lover and I have 4 dogs and 2 guinea pigs.

Great. I watched the trailer for “A Girl Named Jo,” and it seems pretty intense! Tell us about the show and your character “Alice.”

Alice is a proper, seemingly innocent, popular girl from the 60’s. She causes a decent amount of trouble, but deep down, I think she struggles with how horribly she treats people. I believe Alice will have a lot to show about what motivates her if there are additional seasons! Crossing my fingers that I can explore more sides of her.

Why do you think teens are going to want to watch this series?

It’s very different. It gives more credit to the younger teen audience by giving them more than slapstick comedy. It has mystery and an intriguing storyline to follow. It was great fun to film.

What’s been the best part about working on that show so far?

As an actor, it’s always my favorite part to create a character that comes alive outside of a script. I get to breathe an entire person to life and I love it. Besides that, making friends with the cast, and working with such a talented, professional team, has been really fun.

How did you get the role?

I auditioned. As an actor, you go on hundreds of auditions, so it’s just a way of life for us. Funny story though, my house is a “working actor” too! We film a lot of tv, commercials, films at our house. “Chicken Girls the Movie” filmed at our house way back in January. When I went in to audition for “A Girl Named Jo,” in late April, I recognized Annie. We didn’t really know each other, but I had seen her at our house! I don’t know if she remembered me though! It’s great to know her now. She’s very sweet. It was so nice to get to know her better.

What do you like the most about a) Annie b) Addison?

Annie is down to earth, very open and kind. We were both gymnasts so I understand her work ethic. She works very hard and I feel protective of her. She’s so sweet and easy to be with. Addison is so funny! She’s incredibly professional as an actor and so very talented. She is a giving scene partner and I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her. And, seriously, she’s just so funny. She makes me laugh so hard. I love them both.

Your hair is naturally dark, but is now pretty blonde. Does having blonde hair change anything…like is it true that blondes have more fun? : )

Haha! I gotta be honest, it was a SHOCK to go blonde. But, it IS fun. More fun? I don’t know, haha. But, I really believe that it’s ok to have fun with hair and makeup. You shouldn’t feel pressure to have your hair or makeup any specific way, just have fun and do what makes you happy. Super short, really long, dark, light, curly, straight!? You will never please everyone and you don’t need to. Just be the best you, you can be.

You have worked on notable films/shows such as “Oz the Great and Powerful” as well as “Grace & Frankie.” What single moment in show business stands out most in your mind so far?

Wow. I have had so much fun, I can’t pick just one! Meeting Sam Raimi as a child was so incredible. He wore a suit everyday and was so confident. He gave me a line, and changed my life. I’m in LA because of that moment. Holding hands with Michelle Williams was so comforting, I love her so much. She doesn’t even know how that little moment made me feel. Meeting Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda was the BEST. Lily is from Detroit too, and I totally vibed with her. But, to have Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin just come up and introduce themselves to little old me??? Oh my gosh! It completely solidified how I want to be in this buisness. Respectful, gracious, hard-working, and of course ICONIC!! 🙂

If you could “do over” one thing as an actress, what would it be?

Everything I have done continues to lead me to where I am meant to be. All of my setbacks have given me an opportunity to be stronger and better. There are roles that I have lost, but you have to embrace that it wasn’t yours if you didn’t book it and know that something better is coming. On a wishful “do over” note, I filmed for 21 days in Hawaii and I’d love to do that over!!

Dream role?

So I swim in a silicone mermaid tail, it’s been a hobby forever, and I watched Splash a million times as a child. To remake that?? Major dream. Of course I dream of working with an amazing actor like Timothee Chalamet, or landing a theatrical role in a Scorsese, Spielberg, or Tarantino film. Kill Bill Volume 3?? Yes please!

Favorite YouTuber

It changes a lot, but right now, Hailey Sani. She lives in the area and gives great shopping tips.

Biggest pet peeve?

Loud chewers. Haha.

Favorite dessert?

I bake a lot. My Chocolate Chip cookies and our super secret family recipe for No-bake cookies are two favorites. Another major favoite, birthday cake. My mom and I buy birthday cake for no reason! Like, Happy Wednesday, let’s buy a birthday cake! Yellow cake, white frosting only.

Most awkward experience IRL (not related to acting)?

Well, I do this weird thing where I dance and sing when I’m eating really good food. Haha. I’ve been caught more than once in my own food world, not even realizing I’m dancing and singing to myself, out of happiness. I’ve done that since I was a little kid!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I play the drums. I also can play several other instruments by ear. I just pick them up and can usually figure out how to play. I don’t put enough time in to be super proficient at any of them, except the drums, but I love to play guitar, ukelele, keyboards etc in my room.

What are you working on next?

I am taking a break to enjoy summer, probably a month off. My best friend from home and my cousin are visiting, and I want to surf!

Can we please get a selfie of whatever you are up to at the moment for the fans?

Sure, attached! I’m just hanging with my friend Layla, shopping and laughing. 🙂 Thank you for asking these great questions. It was so fun!

https://www.instagram.com/bella.shepard/